Following the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Brussels (May 2001), CEB expressed the system’s commitment to make an effective, concerted contribution to the implementation and monitoring of the Conference’s outcome. The governing bodies of all concerned organizations within the system are actively engaged to integrate the outcome of the Brussels Conference into their respective programmes.

In order to facilitate coordinated followup, implementation and monitoring of the Brussels Programme of Action, UN system organizations have designated focal points to work with the UN Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which serves as the system’s central coordinating body in this area.

Support programmes specifically aimed at assisting LDCs cover a wide range of activities, from human and institutional capacity-building, strengthening of governance systems, building productive capacities and trade-related assistance to environmental protection and reducing vulnerability to natural disasters. A number of collaborative inter-agency initiatives are underway. The Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to LDCs, jointly managed by WTO, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, IMF and the World Bank, aims to assist LDCs in mainstreaming trade in their national poverty reduction strategies, expand and diversify their trade and become better integrated into the multilateral trading system.

Various organizations are also working together to build capacity in LDCs to promote foreign investments and encourage the application of information and communications technology for development. Many UN organizations have also established special trust funds to mobilize resources for LDCs. Monitoring and reporting of progress in implementing the Brussels Plan of Action have proceeded through well-coordinated processes within the UN system.